According to media reports, a study showed that fish may not be as stupid as they seem to be. Fish with poor memories are considered fools of the animal kingdom. However, clean fish (the colorful fish that live in the ocean) may not be as stupid as they seem, they can recognize themselves in the mirror.
Identifying reflections in mirrors is one of the main tests of animal intelligence. Two-thirds of babies can do it at 18 months of age, chimpanzees and elephants can do it, but dogs, cats or some seemingly clever monkeys and parrots can’t. However, cleaning fish shocked scientists because they may have the same ability, even though their brains are small.
When they saw a mirror, they seemed to notice signs of color on their heads, and then they tried to scrape the traces. Dr. Alex Jordan from the Max Planck Institute and Osaka City University in Japan led the study. Dr. Jordan said: “The behavior we observed, there is no doubt that the behavior of this fish meets all of the original mirror test criteria. It is not clear whether these behaviors should be considered evidence of fish self-awareness, despite In the past these behaviors were interpreted as self-awareness in many other animals.”
Clean fish live in tropical coral reefs and play a beneficial role in removing parasites from large fish. To see if they can identify their own mirrors, scientists inject a small amount of brown dye into their throats and heads to make them look like a parasite. When the fish saw himself in the mirror, he tried to remove the traces from it.
To check if they knew it was themselves in the mirror, the researchers gave them the same fish and saw the same mark through a clear divider. The fish no longer tried to remove the mark on themselves, which indicates that they were not fooled.
Therefore, this fish satisfies every self-awareness test, although the experts are still sceptical. This may be because there are traces of scratches on the fish’s face, which may be just a natural act. This creature lacks the hands, torso or flexible neck, so it is difficult to correctly judge their response to reflection.
Professor Fransde Waal, a principal primate researcher at Emory University in the United States, said: “In order to further explore self-awareness, we should stop using the response to the mirror as a touchstone. We should build a richer self-theory and a larger testing mechanism. We can determine the level of self-awareness of all animals, including fish.”